First of all I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I hope that the year 2019 brings everyone reading this an abundance of blessings and love. The Little People spent New Years Eve celebrating with my Mom, Will working (I think we have only spent two New Years Eve's together out of the ten we have been together), and I welcomed in the new year with friends. When I am in large social settings, mostly with people I don't get to spend time with often, the subject of how strong I am usually comes up. Which is partially what inspired this post...
I know how I see myself now. I don't think that I am strong at all, but I see the broken pieces of my soul that no one else can see but God. I know how often I cry, how often I have to take naps because my brain is overwhelmed, or the physical ache that grief brings with it. I used to think I was strong and resilient, but this has by far been the most humbling experience in my life. I can't think of another experience that can make you understand how powerless in your life you truly are, in the grand scheme of things, than this experience. (Please Lord, I ask you if there is another... spare me from it!)
So today I spent the day working on an amazing young ladies senior photos, she also happens to be one of this years scholarship recipients. I have always enjoyed photography and I was honored when she asked me to capture this season in her life. She is truly one of my favorite humans. Photography has always been a hobby that I have enjoyed. With every photo that is taken there is permanent proof of someones mark on this world. As I was organizing the photo's that I took of her on my computer I came across an album I haven't had the courage to closely look through until today. It was an album that brought me joy, and highlighted my heartache, but it made me think and it inspired me. The album contains our last family photo's as a physical family of five. I hadn't really closely looked through the folder since I took the photo's, other than to retrieve photo's for Hayden's funeral and to have some of them printed for family to have as keepsakes. So today I flipped through all four hundred fifty six of them and I found this.
It isn't a photo that I would normally share with the world. It's a photo of me scolding our stud horse, Hayden was the one behind the camera. I didn't realize that he had taken it, but I do remember this moment well. Squirt thought he needed to talk to the ladies and Momma thought he should cooperate and do what he does best, be studly for our family photo's circa 2017.
When I saw this photo I thought to myself... "What did Hayden see in this moment?" Who did he think that his "Mommy" was?
Just a few weeks before Hayden died we were working on something together, what I don't remember, all I remember is it not being fun and being sweaty, hot, and tired. What I do remember most of all is looking up at him, (he had on a Hooey hat on that I can't find to save my life, a white t-shirt, and jeans) and he said "Mom, you are a total badass.". I remember in that moment feeling accomplished and proud. I mean anyone who has raised a teenage boy knows that they think that their parents are complete morons from the age of thirteen on, and if he thought I knew anything for even a second I had accomplished more than I knew that day. But who did he really think that I was? I guess I won't know until I can ask him in heaven, if it even still matters enough to ask.
My mother always told me from the time I was a very little girl, "It's none of your business what other people think of you.". It's been my life's motto. I truly don't remember many times that I actually cared what others thought of me, God yes but not my peers. That can be a blessing and a curse. Because of that I am stubborn, hardheaded, and I can be very vicious. I have however always been hyper aware of what my kids think of me, even more so in the last year, but I am far... far from perfect.
So to my sweet babies, all three of you, I was reminded today that you three are always watching me. Everything I say, everything I do, my attitude, my passions, my mistakes... I care what you see. I care what you think of me. I care how my actions effect you even though I am not always good at keeping that into perspective in the moment. This year, and for the rest of my life, I hope to be the mother and a woman that you look up to and are proud of. (Lushon, even on the days that you come out of the house with no shoes on in the snow or get grounded from electronics.) I hope to show you strength, stability, love, compassion, patience, discipline, and work ethic. I haven't been very good at that lately, but this year I will do better.